Irvine, Calif. (August 15, 2017) In a match rife with great build-up play and enthralling periods of possession, the chances created were few and far between. The Orange County SC played their first match at the brand new Championship Soccer Stadium at the Orange County Great Park against Tulsa Roughnecks FC. The celebrations in the stands didn’t translate to celebrations on the field. Both teams were held goalless for 90 minutes plus stoppage time. Although the offensive side of the ball was not clicking in full gear for OCSC, it was delightful to see the defence post a shutout. The last time the two teams faced off in Tulsa, OCSC gave up four goals. Visible progress is being made in the middle of the tough stretch of games.
Both teams got off to a shaky start trading possession back and forth in the midfield. The visitors nearly capitalized on an early opportunity through a misplaced pass in the Orange County SC defensive third that found the feet of Joey Calistri. He took on two defenders and his ensuing shot was deflected wide for a corner kick. OCSC have been making it a habit of giving up early goals in recent weeks, but fortunately were able to flip the script in tonight’s match and not give up any goals. Orange County SC’s best chance of the first half fell to the feet of Captain Richard Chaplow. In the 17th minute he found himself in loads of space at the top of the box. With his first touch he faked a shot and saw the Tulsa defenders dive-in. His subsequent shot had plenty of power but not enough accuracy as it went straight at keeper Fabian Cerda. There was so much pace on the shot all Cerda could do was parry it wide for a corner kick. The first half saw more jostling for possession in the midfield and not many threatening efforts on target.
The second half contained similar play and build-up barring a period in which the visitors nearly broke the deadlock and saw the OCSC backline scramble to keep the score level. In the 77th minute Tulsa started a flurry of corner kicks and shots that the home team was fortunate to escape without conceding a goal. Off a corner kick Modou Jadama rose for a header forcing keeper Charlie Lyon to spring into action to push the effort away from frame. The rebound was fired quickly back on target and Lyon sprang to his feet and also denied that chance.
OCSC stood to their tasks on marking and prevented the visitors from scoring. The concentration and determination shown over the span of 90 minutes will be vital in the next fixture. Orange County SC welcome Phoenix Rising FC back to town on Friday August 18 at 7:30pm at the OC Great Park. The two teams played to a 1-1 draw earlier in the season due a late free kick scored by Didier Drogba. The offensive firepower they have will need to be corralled at all times. Anytime you keep a clean sheet you are guaranteed points and Orange County SC and Tulsa Roughnecks FC were forced to split them tonight.
ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY SOCCER CLUB:
The Orange County Soccer Club is Orange County’s Professional Soccer Team. The club was one of 12 founding members of the new United Soccer League (USL) in its inaugural 2011 season. The predecessor club Orange County Blues were the 2015 Western Conference Regular Season Champions and have reached the Western Conference Semi-finals of the USL Playoffs in back-to-back seasons. The club’s brand-new owner, James Keston, is the Chief Investment Officer of LARO Properties, and will actively oversee all operations of the USL club in Orange County. Keston is dedicated to transforming the club into a world-class professional soccer organization that focuses on the fans, players, and youth clubs of Orange County.
For more information about Orange County Soccer Club or to purchase tickets, visit: http://www.orangecountysoccer.com.
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